Award winners to be revealed on Sunday

October 9th, 2015 11:15 PM

By Con Downing

The judging panel for the 2015 West Cork Farming Awards - from left - Billy Kelleher, Teagasc; Con Downing, Southern Star; JJ Walsh, Carbery Group, and John Buckley, 2013 Young Farmer of the Year.

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THE stage is set for the inaugural Southern Star and Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Farming awards presentation at the hotel in Rosscarbery at lunchtime this Sunday, October 11th.

The winners of the four categories will be announced and their prizes presented by the respective category sponsors. There were four categories for which people were asked to make nominations:

  • Young Farmer award
  • Innovation and Vision award
  • International award for achievements abroad
  • Hall of Fame award

The judging panel is chaired by Con Downing, editor of The Southern Star, and comprises Billy Kelleher, Cork West regional manager of Teagasc; JJ Walsh, sales and marketing manager of the Carbery Group, and John Buckley, 2103 Macra Young Farmer of the Year. They initially narrowed down the nominations to a shortlist of three for each category and they now have the difficult task of choosing one winner for each, who will receive a specially-commissioned trophy and a prize to the value of €500.

Those shortlisted for the various awards – all of whom have been profiled on these pages in recent weeks – are:


Young Farmer award – sponsored by Drimoleague Concrete Works:

Colin Griffin, Ballincourcey, Timoleague; Aidan McCarthy, Airhill, Schull, and Adam Shorten, Murragh, Enniskeane.


Innovation and Vision award – sponsored by Scally’s SuperValu, Clonakilty: 

Allshire Family, Caherbeg Farm, Rosscarbery; Dan Connolly, Connolly Dairy Services, Timoleague, and Ivan Rumley, Rumley’s Open Farm, Waterfall, near Cork.


International Award – sponsored by Castle Freke Distillery:

Dan MacSweeney, CEO, Carbery Group, Ballineen; Flor McCarthy, Drimoleague and Saudi Arabia, and Máire McCarthy, Ballyhandle, Innishannon.


Hall of Fame Award – sponsored by Allied Irish Bank:

William Hurley, Laravoulta, Enniskeane; Leo Meade, Ballinascarthy, and Peggy O’Brien, Lislevane, Barryroe.


Being a predominantly rural area, it was felt that it would be appropriate to honour farmers, their families and the wider agricultural community in West Cork for their endeavour and achievements. There are so many hard-working people toiling on the land, producing food of the high calibre for which the area is noted, and many more involved in the wider agri industry, and we are probably all guilty to some degree of taking them for granted, but we hope The Southern Star and Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Farming Awards 2015 will go some way towards rectifying this.

The presentation ceremony in the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, this Sunday, will be a big celebration of all that is good on the local agricultural front.



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